Church Music

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KarmaGhost's avatar

Literature Text

A broken ground,
split along fault lines--
our faults--
pushes into the sky,
and along those striations
I spy
into the hidden meaning
of ledger lines
and lead sheets:
sketch little notes
on the wall
to me,
and I will scrawl out
words to you,
divine all the meaning
of the divine
and though my feet
leave not the ground,
I walk about in the sky,
and from so high above
like crop circles
I will make out
the notes to sing,
to you in the shadows.

Hail, O, Gladdening Light!
For it is where
Heaven met Earth,
where the sky pierced
the ground and I caught
a glimpse of you,
a frozen moment in time:
and there they sing
three times,
always three,
to our four,
greater we think,
but not complete:
indivisible, you are,
prime, to our composition.

And this is the indescribable,
the simple thing painted
on silence, in the emptiness,
there was a note,
a single ringing sound,
and with it a single word
into all creation was made.

It is where we find you,
in fire and in laughter
and in words,
where we find in this music
prayer without them all,
the expressive groanings
of babes wimpering
for milk and freedom
from this filth,
and for rest at last
from this daily struggle.

It is in this
that your divinity
meets our depravity,
and floating into the sky
we never leave the ground,
and notes meet words,
and we sing
of this beautiful collision.
Part of my poetry project lifting inspiration from album titles, this poem comes from David Crowder Band's Church Music.

The thing about church music is it's not secular music. I do not mean this in some harsh condemnation of secular music; I mean this in a literal sense of the word secular: it is not of the world. Church music is about church, which is from a Greek word meaning "belonging to the Lord."

There is something uniquely beautiful and unhindered about this reality. That like music, there is something painted along the silence, the black emptiness of the beginning of time, hovering there in simplicity. God is the Trinity--three, not 2 nor 4 nor 5 nor 8--and thus is, strictly speaking, a prime number. He is indivisible, evenly, and so 3 is always 1. He is the perfect community unto Himself. And in the beginning, there was the Word...but note that not just were all things made through Him, but this is a literal hearkening back to Genesis, where the mere act of speaking a word germinated Creation. (Let there be light, and there was light.) The perfect note on the backdrop of the silence, and the Word to which it is mated, is the song of creation. For what it's worth, both J.R.R. Tolkien in The Silmarillion and C.S. Lewis in The Magician's Nephew gave creation stories as songs.

But this is also where the sky meets the ground. Where does the sky start and the ground begin? Our feet are anchored on the ground, but we are in the sky. We speak of skyscrapers, but are we not grounded in climbing up mountains into that sky? We are always in the sky, and it is this wondeful fact: that heaven is here, all around us, that we are walking in it.

We are composite creatures, soul and body; we are four. We can be divided, and so are imperfect even in our greater numerical reality. And yet like songs mating notes to words to form something greater than the sum of its parts, we long for perfection. For 3+4=7. Or rather, the perfect union of God in his multitude primacy meets our imperfect composition and we are made even greater, we reach our own perfection, our own indivisible state.

This is what church music is. It is an eternal union of the divine to the mundane, where singing "Holy, holy, holy" is joining an entire chorus in Heaven, the undying communion of saints. Church music is where our depravity meets His divinity, and it is such a miraculously beautiful collision.

Allusions abound in this piece, and I do not even know where to begin.
© 2009 - 2021 KarmaGhost
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flesh-cladmonster's avatar
Interesting as usual.
KarmaGhost's avatar
I like the idea, but the more I read it the less I like the execution.
flesh-cladmonster's avatar
I know what you mean. Sometimes stuff just doesn't work for you. Either way, I still like it. If you don't like it maybe you should tweak it a bit when the mood strikes.